The World Economic Forum (“WEF”) has released their annual ranking of the most technologically innovative countries. The WEF ranking measures the technological environment offered by a given country, the readiness of the country’s key stakeholders (individuals, businesses, and governments) to use technology, and finally the usage of technology. The big news according to the BBC is that the US has fallen from the top spot to being #7, having been overtaken by Nordic countries (Denmark #1, Sweden #2, Finland #4). Unfortunately, Canada’s performance has been lacklustre and has fallen 5 places, out of the top ten, to #11.
The report gave the following reasons for Denmark’s success:
Denmark has benefited from a clear government ICT vision and early focus on ICT penetration and usage, which has resulted in impressive levels of Internet and PC usage as well as that of e-government and in a very dynamic e-business environment. A well-developed internal market, together with a continuous emphasis on education and R&D and a talent for pioneering applications and technologies, have laid the basis for the development of a first-league high-tech industry.
Norway and Iceland have also done very well, ranking in at #10 and #8 respectively, putting all Nordic countries in the top ten. While Nordic countries are quite similar to Canada, in that they both have abundant natural resources and leftist/social politics (and chilly climate), but the Nordic countries have been much better at leveraging these natural resources to create modern and innovative economies.
Historic Canadian ranking: